DIY Photography • The iPhone
Welcome weirdos! Glad you’re here. So you’re too cheap to hire a professional? Too prideful to hire someone to do something you think you can do yourself? Awesome. Let’s do this.
Step one is having a camera.
Today we are going to focus on the camera that most people have these days — the iPhone. Step two is making sure your house ready to shoot. Check out our post on hiring a professional HERE to get some tips on making sure your home is ready. (Long story short, get the cat out of the pictures, do your dishes and imagine Chip and Joanna Gains are coming over for dinner.)
PART 1: Okay, so your house is ready for photos. Here are my general tips for real estate photography DIY:
Lighting — Make sure every light is on and every fan is off. If you have blinds or shades, close them. Is your TV on? Awesome! You know it works! Now turn it off.
Focus — Make sure whatever your device you are using is focused. Don’t be that person using blurry photos. See below for device specifics.
Focal Length — DO NOT ZOOM IN! You want to show the maximum amount of space.
Lens — When my mother Christi takes photos with her phone, it looks like she smeared Vaseline all over her lens. When I complain about it, she replies, “Curtie, I use a lot of hand lotion and it gets on my phone”. Don’t be like Christi. Clean your lens. You can use your T-shirt or a napkin — really anything that doesn't have vaseline all over it.
Camera location — Usually, you’ll want to shoot from the corners of the room. Unless you have a cool island or maybe a rad fireplace that will look good head on, it usually looks best to shoot rooms from corners. Get back as far as you can into the corner so you show as much space as possible. Try different corners of the room. When shooting rooms with a mirror such as a bathroom, make sure you are not shooting yourself in the reflection. Make sure the phone is level. A good way to test this is to check if the corner of the room opposite to you is going straight up and down on your screen.
Camera height — The camera should be roughly halfway between your floor and your ceiling. If you have 8-foot ceilings, you will want your camera about four feet off the ground. Yeah, I know this means you have to do a really awkward stance that sort of looks like you’re pooping, but trust me. It’s worth the sacrifice.
Quantity — Take a ton of photos and select the best ones. You’ll want around 30 good photos total.
PART 2: Taking real estate photos with your iPhone:
Basics — Open your photo app. Take a look at the icons on the top of the screen. They should all be white. If they are yellow, they are on which isn’t a good thing. Make sure they are white.
Exposure and focus — Find a spot in the middle of the room that is not too bright and not too dark. Hold your finger down on the screen of the iPhone until your exposure and focus lock. Once they lock, you can slide your finger up and down the screen to fine-tune the exposure. When looking at exposure, you want the darks and lights to be as close to what your eyes see as possible (unless the room is super dark, in which case you will want to brighten it up).
Editing — Don’t be afraid to edit those bad boys, but DO NOT OVER EDIT. The easiest way to do this is in your photo editor app on your phone. Too saturated or looking too orange? Adjust the color or the saturation. Too dark? Brighten it up a bit. Crooked? Use the straightener tool to make it level. Take the time to make your photos look good, but, again, don’t over edit. If you want to go a step further, I recommend downloading the VSCO app through the app store. This app is $19.99 a year for a subscription, and it’s a powerful photo editing tool. My personal favorite setting for interior photos is from the Bright & Clean / S Series and is option S2. For exterior photos, my favorite setting is from the Vibrant Classic / C Series and is option C3.